Monday, September 26, 2005

'Canes shopping a blueliner?

photo: some company that sells cute bears

Is this the Face of the Hurricanes Defense? We're Dooomed I Say, Doomed!!!!
(I'm sure there's a very manly excuse for this photo, right Aaron?)
The 'Canes seem to have an abundance of like-skilled blueliners at this stage in the preseason. With Andrew Hutchinson and Mike Commodore making a strong cases for big-club roster spots on October 5, it might be time to move one of the guys who might have over-stayed his welcome. Commodore was acquired to be the physical presence the 'Canes lacked when they last took the ice. Hutchinson is racking up preseason points in his bid to join Oleg Tverdovsky as the 'Canes principal puck-carrying defensemen. JR is on record saying he doesn't want a deja vou of his 2003 Marek Malik mistake. Malik, the league's plus/minus leader in '03-'04 and the ugliest skater I've ever seen (more like a cross country skier on blades), turned out to be Lurch on steroids for the 'Canucks.

News and Observer writer, J.P. Giglio reported the other day, prime candidates for greener pastures appear to be Frankie Kaberle and Aaron Ward. A couple of reports I have read indicate Ward's not keeping up with the flow of play in the new NHL. Kaberle is a tough call. JR went out and got him before last season crashed, but I'm not sure what he brings that Hutchinson or Danny Richmond can't right now.

Bret Hedican and his 2+ mil contract might be in play, but he might still need to demonstrate he's really back from back surgery before his market value rises enough to justify the expense. Bret might end up being a later-in-the-season push to a contender if the 'Canes tank.

Giglio (I wonder if he looks like Rob Schneider as well) says the Coyotes, Preds, Devils, and Jackets have had scouts looking at the 'Canes, with Phoenix most interested. The Coyotes have issues on the blueline and in goal. They also have about 20 centers on their preseason roster-a position we aren't in dire need to fill right now with Roddy, Adams, Cullen, Staal, and Vasicek already in the queue. The Preds also have concerns on the blueline. The Devils want to unload salary, and according to, Sergei Brylin and Jamie Langenbruner being dangled. The Bluejackets probably also need help on "D" and a solid goaltending prospect.

If a deal of consequence get's done (more significant than Brendl for Harold Druken and a bag of pucks), I think will involve one of the 'Canes goaltending prospects (Nastiuk or Peters). JR might be holding his fire until he definitively believes Cam Ward is the future in goal. But the Malik debacle is probably not the only bad trade in the back of JR's mind right about now. He probably also remembers letting Giguere go for Trevor Kidd (Ok, Gary Roberts was part of the deal as well).

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